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tv   State of the Union  CSPAN  January 25, 2011 8:00pm-10:00pm EST

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>> thank you. >> thank you. >> good evening. one hour from now, the president's will stand before a joint session of congress to deliver his assessment of the state of our nation. he will outline his priorities for the year ahead. he stands before a new republican house majority and a congress that is still processing the shooting of one of its own members. until the speech begins, legal be here at our studios in capitol hill. -- until the speech begins, we will be here in our studios at capitol hill. setting the stage for us are two
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people to know the congress very well. he stepped down as the communications director for nancy pelosi. he had that same role. thank you for being here. at this point in our nation's history, what is the state of the union address all about? >> it is a chance for the president to talk about where he thinks the country is now and where it is going. what is the state of our union? i have talked to some of the white house folks this week. the president is going to talk about winning the future. the competitive world that we live in, with china and india that we have to compete with. it is a competition that is not between democrats and republicans, it is between america and the rest of the world. >> i was reading this morning that some pundit suggested that this seems a little anachronistic. what is the setting of the stage
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for tonight? >> it is a scene setter for the rest of the year. president obama is going to look to the future. he is going to talk about the plans that he has. we are at a critical time and our nation's economy. it is just one speech. however big it is presented, in this digital age, people view this and will digested, but then they will move on to the next thing. it will be really important to to have an impact of speech. >> we were talking in my office with some of our younger staffers. their whole world is digital. the attack people will analyze -- the bloggers are very sophisticated. they will take certain parts of the speech and merely analyze it. that is one way that it will live on.
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maybe he could do an online chat. it will -- he is a very articulate president. he could take the medium and -- it would be quite interesting for him to do that. >> i think he might be doing that. i heard that he would be doing some kind of facebook video chat. over the next week, they will parse out certain sections of the speech. all the energy bloggers will be dissecting, what did he mean when he talked about solar energy? >> let me introduce another voice. jim barnes works for the national journal. quite a scene up there. people are getting ready. all of the camera positions are already established. tell me about the atmosphere. >> the atmosphere here in the capital, there is a lot of
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expectation for how the president is going to move forward. what you see around me is all the various tv networks and a lot of reporters are gathered here. we have members of congress and staffers and other folks walking into the house chamber. we will have a lot of house members after the speech is over. the area where i am standing is going to be flooded by members of congress who are eager to talk to television stations back home and around the country and around the world, offering their take on how the president did tonight. >> you are our guests talking about what the speech is all about in the year 2011. this white house seems to think of it as an opportunity. it seems like they are really working it with the number of
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scenes setters and background briefings they have had before. we talk a little bit about how this white house uses social media and other digital communications tools to exacerbate or emphasize their message? >> the white house has done a lot of outreach to the internet community. the white house is not allowed in. john maynard, at some point, it is going to be hiding -- john boehner at some point is going to be on facebook. he will talk to the american people. michele bock men, who is giving one of the republican response is tonight, not the official republican response, she is going to be giving a response.
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she is doing it over the internet via the tea party express. everyone understand that in order to communicate, i think, with different audiences, the internet is the way to do it. >> we will be back to you later on. gentlemen, stayed with the politics of this, what did the republicans want to get out of this evening? >> they are focused on fiscal responsibility. they will listen to the president. they will come out very strongly to the actions of the president's speech at what the president has to say on investment and creating jobs and where he wants to take the economy. republicans have an opposite view. both sides are going for the center. they are going for independent voters. a majority of house republicans
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-- because of the spending issues. >> it does seem to present a challenge for the democrats. the liberal wing of the party feel like they've progressed -- elected this president. the president seemed to pay the toward the center. what has become of that aspect of the party? >> the liberals and the moderates are looking for a certain thing from the president's speech as well. he will talk about investment in education and energy and infrastructure. he is also going to talk about cutting spending overall. what the progressives are wanting to talk about or listening for is, what is he going to talk about for their community? maybe it will be clean energy, education. those are things that are important to many progressives. they may be cheered by the
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present's endorsement for cutting spending in the military. there are some things they will look for. we will see where it goes. the president will try to reach out to the republicans. he is very good at that. he has been on a roll lately. he did very well in the lame- duck session we had in december. he did a very gracious response to the tragedy of tucson. i think he is looking to this speech tonight -- this is a moment for him to lay out what he believes in. people will be pleased with what they hear. >> let's bring in other voice into the analysis. he is a political science professor and director of the white house transition project. much has been made all the comparison to bill clinton in
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1995 after a defeat at the midterms. where are the republicans accurate and where are they not? >> the comparisons -- he showed that he understood that the public was looking for a change. if we agree on nothing else tonight, we must agree that the american people voted for change in 1992 and 1994. if i looked out at you, i know some of you must have felt in 1992. we heard american -- we heard america shouting. i think you'll hear something that is similar from president obama, although he is not going to be quite as specific. he will say, the american people determined that the governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties.
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new laws will only be passed with support by republicans and democrats. we will move forward together, or not at all. also, he is going to talk about the situation with the economy. and clinton's case, he could say that the economy was far better that it had been when he came in two years earlier. he could cite the increase in 6 million jobs. that is not going to be the case for president obama. comparatively, he can show that we are better off than we were. the economy is getting better, but he is also going to say, but we measure progress by the success of our people.
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by the opportunities for a better life to be had to work children. that is the project the american people want us to work on, together. i think he is looking at the competitiveness in the world economy and how -- most of it will be directed to the economy. that is what people are interested in. they are interested in jobs. one of the interesting comparisons, i think, is not with the state of the union message, but with another speech that president obama gave in april of 2009. the state of the union address this year is a very much a continuation of a conversation he started there. he talked about building a foundation for our national
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economy. he had five killers that were crucial to its. pillars that-- kille were crucial to it. he will come back to those. they are somewhat different than that georgetown university speech, and that he is looking at regulations and rules. he focused their mostly on wall street. he is not going to talk about the federal government. >> thank you very much for giving us some historical comparisons. she is the director of the white house transition project, presidential historian. this is also a night for statistics junkies.
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people like to keep a lot of records to compare. the shortest speech in modern history was president nixon in 1972. it was 29 minutes. president clinton have the longest in modern history, 89 minutes. president obama's 2010 was 71. we do not know how long this will take. do you want to do anything with those statistics? >> another statistic is that the number of real people that president have cited is 38. >> are these people sitting in the balcony? >> these are the people that are sitting in the balcony. gabrielle giffords's surge in is going to be in the balcony deceiving, as well as a medal of honor winner. >> there is going to be an open
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seat in the arizona delegation. that is -- they are always -- they are all going to sit together. everyone in the chamber the bushes for the best. she is one of the most wonderful members. she is very personable. everybody really like her personally. >> the history of the state of the union is that traditions are started by presidents and continued and become part of the process. president ronald reagan was the very first to have every day people sitting in the first lady's box to watch the speech. are the leaders allowed to invite guests? >> yes, they do. they are invited to bring guests to the box.
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>> i do not know who gets the policy has tonight. in previous years, she has had the mayor of san francisco, around town. she is another guest as well. -- she has had other guests as well. there is pageantry all around. >> let's talk about some of the mechanics of this chamber. it does have a seating capacity. do all members generally show up? >> there is always the designated person in the house and the senate who does not go. in case of catastrophe, they would form the new government. sometimes members did not want to go anyway, so they volunteered for it. members of the house and the
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members of the diplomatic corps. they bring in extra chairs. it is packed. i have been on the floor every time they had given one. it is very, very crowded. >> 10 rank and file members bring guests? >> they cannot bring guests on to the house floor. >> they can bring them to the balcony sometimes. children have been allowed onto the floor, i know. members of congress are using the first ones to show up. they show up early. there are those that have the traditions to sit along the aisle. they want to be their first one in their newspaper shaking his hand. >> they are there at 2:00 in the
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afternoon. they really care about that. >> we were talking about bloggers earlier. they look back to see which members are always along the aisles. tomorrow is on the phone with us. he has covered the supreme court for several decades. just recently, he published a column about why it is important for the justices to attend the speech. why is it important for the court to to be represented? >> it is part of the government's third branch. it is the one chance the public
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has to see the justices. it is viewed as an equal branch of government. it is interesting to see that not -- them not respond or not clout to the president's policy pronouncements at the state of the union address. it says that the supreme court's does not take sides in those kinds of issues. they are sitting there not responding to the president's recommendations. >> he found himself in a bit of controversy over what seemed to be a melting of a response to the address last year. there is been a lot of discussion about whether justice is balcombe. do we know for sure will be there? >> 6 of the nine justices will be there. we have not been told exactly
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which ones. already, that number tells us that one of the concerns people had -- people were worried that only the justices appointed by democratic presidents would attend the address of the democratic president. since there are only four justices appointed by democratic presidents, at least two republican appointees will be there. i am guessing that the attendees will be chief justice roberts, justice kennedy, and the democratic appointees, justice ginsburg, sonia sotomayor, and the new justice elena kagan. >> one of those was the death of a federal judge. i am wondering how that affects the interest of the court in attending tonight. >> we do not know for sure why
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the chief justice, for example, decided to come when he had been critical of political nature of the state of the union address last year. he implied that he would not come. it could be one of the factors of leading him to come tonight. it is to show the solidarity with the judiciary. as you say, he was very much respected. it may be that he wanted to come to pay tribute to in a silent way to the judge. >> thank you very much. it will be watching as members of the court make their way into the chamber. it is interesting to see who comes and it tore predictions are correct. thank you for your additional bought from. >> let's return to capitol hill.
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we just have learned that the missing cabinet member will be interior secretary salazar. why is there so much interest in who is not in the chamber tonight? >> it is part of a washington parlor game. it's fun to know who is being held out. this is kind of a continuity of government. if there was some tragedy, terrorist attack, someone has to carry the government forward. that is where this habit of it comes from. >> let me move from the speech to the response. in looking at the history, the opposite party response has been around since the days of lyndon johnson. in recent years, that it seems to be a lot of different
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varieties of who might be preparing to speak and what they've been you might be. -- venue might be. i am wondering what the view is from the political community about an opposition response. >> it is probably one of the hardest ax in politics. you have the president of the united states in the whole of congress, the entire government is there, he is getting lots of applause. it is a majestic setting. after the president to strike off the floor of the house to inevitable applause, there will be a quick sum up from some of the network and your folks -- anchor folks. and then the camera goes to a guy sitting in an office somewhere. it is very hard to compete with that setting.
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a lot of respondents understand it. this is the time that the party out of power in the united states has to respond. they will take it. obviously, members of congress or governors to have done this before like doing it. in gives them some attention. but it is not an easy thing to follow the president on a night like tonight. >> before people do want to get ahead, it can be a bit risky. not all of these speeches have been well received. >> totally. the governor of louisiana did a while back. the venue he was standing in the governor's mansion in louisiana and he did not project all that well. i also remember a response that
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bob dole gave to bill clinton. he was not feeling well that night. in his response, he just showed it. he did not project well. he was very happy to give that response. he was running for the 1996 republican presidential nomination. he wanted the opportunity to speak to the country. this performance was a little bit off, too. you are absolutely right. this is not strictly a basketful of blessings. >> a very busy place tonight in washington, d.c., as the get ready for the state of the union address. our first formal event will be the convening of the senate to operate we will show you that live in just a couple of minutes.
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what are the politics of that? >> the fact that congressman paul ryan is the chairman of the budget committee is great for us. he is known as a superstar. 41 years old. he is a rising star. he is very well-respected on our side of the aisle for knowing economic policy. and for communicating really well. people understand him. when he speaks to the country, they get. michelle bachman is speaking on behalf of the tea party. that is something new. she is doing it as an augmentation. it is another person getting the message out. as long as they are saying the same things, let's cut spending,
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i do not think there is any harm in it. i think we will have to see what she has to say in reaction to the state of the union. port as, the things are going to be similar but -- for us, the themes are going to be similar. >> he is very skilled at putting the best face on it. this is a problem for the republicans. it shows that there is a divide. paul ryan is very well respected among republicans. he is going to say something sadder very unpopular. -- that are very unpopular. some of the cuts he is talking about would mean real problems for law enforcement and health care. did you have michelle bachman and a tea party folks, they are saying that is not enough. there is a divided republican
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party. i do not think we have ever seen this kind of thing. a response to a response. we will see how those. >> congressman ryan is going to focus on what president obama has to say about freezing spending. we would like to -- we want to go back to 2008 levels. michele bock men will say that we can go further. i do not think you will see a controversial comment. >> i want to move from politics back to mechanics. since you have recent experience with this, who is the host tonight? >> it is really that the congress is the house. in some sense, the speaker of the house. the vice president is
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technically the president of the senate. it is a joint event. >> how much communication is with the white house about the logistics? >> it is often the white house saying, this is the day we would like for you to invite us. >> that is a great question. >> there was the one with the president clinton in the early 1990's. >> you have to know the cadence of the president. is the chamber offered to the president to practice? >> i have never seen that. there is a ceremonial office that the speaker has pried off before. the president has a few minutes
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of down time. he was in that room in 2009. i was looking for robert gibbs to ask him a question. i walked into the room and there was the president practicing. i interrupted his practicing. he really knows how to give a speech. it is so true in terms of the response. paul ryan is quite good, but it will be tough for anyone to compete with the president. it is a lot of work and a lot of effort. people did not pay that much attention to it. certainly, you need to do it and it is a way to get exposure. but sometimes it can backfire. other times, people have done very well. >> 1 minutes until the senate comes in session.
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you have worked with the senate for a while. >> the senate chamber area and able marched across the rotunda and to the house chamber. it is a very ceremonial thing led by the majority leader and minority leader. they will walk across. there is not a lot of pop and circumstance to it. it is a nice visual and it shows a lot of bipartisanship. >> we will hear the address from the president of the united states. >> the united states session now convened for that ceremonial marches across the capitol. both of you the had the advantage of spending a lot of time inside that building. talk to me about the part they're walking through.
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what is the symbolism? >> the senate is on the north side of the building. the house is on the south side. they come together right in the middle there and walk down the center aisle. that is the aisle that the president also walks down. we have not talked about the idea here of some of the senators from different parts sitting together -- different party sitting together. it is a small symbol. the whole speech is symbolic. you will see a lot of members sitting with unusual partners. nancy pelosi is going to sit with roscoe bartlett. there are all sorts of combinations. >> the person who is very much involved in this bipartisan
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seating is our next guest by telephone. he is the president of a group called third way. he sent a letter to congress. it was picked up by others. why is this important? >> it is important in two ways. to be fair, it is symbolic, but we are in a city in which symbols matter. the american people said loudly, not just in 2010, but in a series of elections, that they did not want to speak seen as a red state or a blue state. they wanted to be seen as one america. it's a message to the country, even if it is just for one night. we actually are working to sit together and talk together and
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try to set the right tone. americans are really tired of the excuse being, it is a tradition. it is a filibuster. this says, even if it is a small step, congress is willing to of such a tradition that goes back to the first time woodrow wilson came and did the state of the union. we're willing to upset a tradition for granted in our differences. those two things matter to the country and they may just make a small difference, but an important one. >> how do you think it will play out? >> when we had the idea and sent a letter, we thought, this is a small, but good idea. it could be important. we do not really know if it will take off. we only send it a short time ago. suddenly, it just took off.
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the senator grabbed the idea and sent a letter to all of his colleagues in the house. very quickly, editorial boards around the country got on board. a number of members got behind it. it is now all bipartisan. john mccain came out strongly to support its. a small idea actually captured the zeitgeist of the moments not just in the wake of the gabrielle giffords and tucson tragedy, but even broader in the sense of the 2010 and previous elections. i think this gesture captured the zeitgeist of the moment. >> i am sure there will be a lot
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of camera shots of congressional paris tonight. >> -- pairs tonight. >> this is one of the few nights of the year were network television cameras are allowed on the floor. this is also the first night that smart phones can be on the floor. members tend to tweet, if they wish. >> that will be a big deal. they will be to tweet out their reactions instantaneously. if you think someone is sleeping, they may be using their blackberry or their iphone. they will be able to see that in the newspaper the next day. >> there was so much fuss about
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wilson shouting out. >> i hope that it will be in a civil way. everybody understands the moment here. even if you have a strong reaction, you can do it in a civil and polite way. a lot of the coverage is live logging and tweaks from the media as well. >>-- blogging and tweets. >> in this town, there is so much jockeying for mentioned tonight. after it is all done, what does it mean? >> when i worked for the peace corps back in the late 1990's,
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the president actually did mention that in the speech. we were thrilled. the budget did increase. you do have to have follow-up. this is one speech. it is a big speech and a big night, but it is one speech. in the thing that gets mentioned here has to be followed up on. the post had a story on sunday benzyl check box of a lot of the big things he promised in a speech last year. many of them -- they did perform. there is a number of big items that he promised last year that he and congress delivered on. >> you can see the members of the united states senate going across the capitol to the house
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chamber. we will watch on our network. >> a lot of the names -- they will not see themselves in the speech. there is not a lot of room to move here. there been several stories about that. i want to get back to the sitting on the fourth thing. it is a very good moment that republicans and democrats are holding hands and sitting on the floor. that is a nice gesture. but what is going to be important is that it in scup evolving into some type of a bipartisan legislation. this is another chance for him to say something. it will have to translate into some serious bipartisan action. if it does not, it is going -- the american people will say, what are they actually doing? >> we get the numbers from the congressional budget office
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about the state of the economy. we move on from this. >> the president proved that he cannot work with republicans. he did that in the lame-duck session. there was a comment the other day, it the president -- that is not put partisanship. it is to work together to find common ground. >> i remember when the president said, we won, you lost. >> keep your eye open the for the bipartisan senate pariirs. they were led by the vice president of the united states. >> he is the president of the senate. he is the tie-breaker in the senate if there is a 50-50 tie.
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he will break the impasse and will rule for the majority party. >> the house has just been called into order. [applause]
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>> you are watching live pictures from the floor of the house of representatives. members of the senate have joined them in the chamber. we are waiting for the gavel.
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let me ask about the president's reception on capitol hill. where does he go and to is degraded by? >> he is greeted by the speaker. there is a ceremonial office off of the floor. that is where he goes to gather his thoughts. >> what about after? >> after, they get him out pretty quickly. security is a very tight. especially now. >> as quickly as they time. they did slow down in that aisle. every member wants to say something to him and whispered something in his ear. >> until they -- there is the president right now. we will watch.
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presidential motorcade leaving the white house. how long is the drive? >> not very far. is about a mile away. they cleared off the streets. >> it is the easiest commute. about two minutes. >> this town is full of parties.
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what is capitol hill like for members after the speech? >> the gaulle -- all go into statuary -- statuary hall. that is where many of the local cameras are set up. journalist are there. did looks like the floor of the stock market. it is a madhouse. present -- press secretaries will stand there waiting for members of congress to come in. hastert shepherding them around. it is quite a long process. it is an hour to cycle through and be able to provide the reaction back home. >> you try to arrange as much as you -- as much as you can in advance with your local press.
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>> when you were in the speaker's office, was it your responsibility to coordinate all of that? >> with the press secretaries. we had a meeting in the afternoon. weeks before. there is a holding that goes on. the day of the speech, there is someone from the administration to say, here is what the president will say. so people can prepare their reaction in advance. you can react specifically to things. >> you can bring reporters into your office. >> we have been talking about the speech. i now have it. it uses the words job -- the word dropped 31 times, economy 7, education 10 times, and china 4.
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>> that is why president obama is trying to take a page at of the republican playbook. he is trying to move back to the center. it is all about jobs in the economy. president obama is now trying to more from being -- morph from being a liberal leader to a centrist leader. >> i do not think that is true. there are certain investments that we need to do to win the global competition. we need to invest in education, energy, and the structure. and technology. he is saying to the republicans, i want to work with you, but you cannot just cut everything. we need to compete. >> deficit is mentioned 11 times. >> that is an important issue. but you also have to grow the economy as well.
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>> we're looking at beautiful pictures from the nation's capital. it is about 30 degrees. it is crystal clear. what other boys on the phone with us. -- one other voice on the phone with us. this year, we are adding play- by-play through social media. >> being able to see what members of congress are seeing from the floor. it is the first time that smart phones are allowed to be on the floor. do our website, we can send you the link to our coverage that shows you abrogating what members of congress are saying and what is happening on the floor. story lines are developing.
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if the audience wants to be educated with what members of congress are doing, they can go to our website. next to it is also showing the reporters are saying. how they are relying the night's news. we also are welcoming people to join the conversation by posting comments on facebook. not only do we want to have people see what members of congress and the media are seeing. we also want to hear what the audience has to say. go to our facebook page. you can find links to all about
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the warming website, all these ways to comment because this is all about you. people are trying to reach out to the public around the country and make sure the message gets through. let's watch a little bit as the president's motorcade arrived on capitol hill.
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>> back to the floor of the house. >> the gentleman from california, the gentleman from texas, the gentleman from texas, the gentleman from georgia, the gentleman from the state of washington, and the gentleman from texas. the gentleman from california, the gentleman from maryland, the gentleman from south carolina, the gentleman from connecticut, the gentleman from california, the gentleman from new york, the gentlewoman from alabama.
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>> the president of the senate's zero points the following senators as members of the committee to escort the president of the united states into the house. the senator from nevada, the senator from illinois, the senator from new york, the senator from washington, the senator from michigan, the senator from alaska the senator from vermont, the senator from kentucky, the senator from arizona, at the senator from tennessee, the senator from wyoming, the senator are from south dakota, the senator from texas. >> the members of the committee will please exit the chamber through the lobby doors.
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>> in these last couple of minutes, you see the 61-year-old news speaker of the house, the john boehner, next to vice- president joe biden. closing thought, a gentleman? i wanted to talk about the britains. >> -- ribbons.
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>> they are of significance. they are remembering congresswoman gabrielle giffords. it is a sign of solidarity. >> your predictions? tonight will be a night of civility. will it be like tomorrow? >> it is hard for civility to last. there will be ways for people to try to work together. it does not mean that you cannot have disagreements. i think you will. but you can do it in a civil way. >> they are here tonight to speak with us about the history and symbolism of the state of the union. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> we will shaggy the pictures from the house chambers and we will be back right after from the report -- with the
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republican response. all and not, your telephone calls. that, yourng is backe telephone calls. >> mr. speaker, the dean of the diplomatic corps. [applause]
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>> mr. speaker, the chief justice and associate justices of the supreme court. [applause]
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>> mr. speaker, the president's cabinet. [applause]
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>> mr. speaker, the president of the united states. [applause]
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quote quote
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>> i have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting in the president of the united states. [applause] >> thank you. thank you so much. everybody, please have a seat. >> mr. speaker, mr. vice president, members of congress, distinguished guests, and fellow americans -- tonight i want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th congress, as well as your new speaker, john
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boehner. [applause] and as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague -- and our friend -- gabby giffords. [applause]
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it is no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. the debates have been contentious. we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. and that is a good thing. that is what a robust democracy demands. that is what helps set us apart as a nation. but there's a reason the tragedy in tucson gave us pause. amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater -- something more consequential than party or political preference. we are part of the american family.
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we believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people -- that we share common hopes and a common creed -- that the dreams of a little girl in tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled. that, too, is what sets us apart as a nation. [applause] now, by itself, this simple recognition won't usher in a new era of cooperation. what comes of this moment is up to us. what comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow. [applause]
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i believe we can. i believe we must. that's what the people who sent us here expect of us. with their votes, they have determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. new laws will only pass with support from democrats and republicans. we will move forward together, or not at all -- for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics. at stake right now is not who wins the next election -- after all, we just had an election. at stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else.
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it is whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded. it is whether we sustain the leadership that has made america not just a place on a map, but a light to the world. we are poised for progress. two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. corporate profits are up. the economy is growing again. but we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. we measure progress by the success of our people. by the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. by the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. by the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children. that's the project the american people want us to work on.
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together. [applause] we did that in december. thanks to the tax cuts we passed, americans' paychecks are a little bigger today. every business can write off the full cost of the new investments they make this year. these steps, taken by democrats and republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year. but we have more work to do. the steps we've taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession -- but to win the future, we'll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making. many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when finding a good job meant
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showing up at a nearby factory or a business downtown. you didn't always need a degree, and your competition was pretty much limited to your neighbors. if you worked hard, chances are you would have a job for life, with a decent paycheck, good benefits, and the occasional promotion. maybe you would even have the pride of seeing your kids work at the same company. that world has changed. and for many, the change has been painful. i've seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the vacant storefronts of once busy main streets. i've heard it in the frustrations of americans who've seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear -- proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game. they are right. the rules have changed.
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in a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there is an internet connection. meanwhile, nations like china and india realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. and so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. they're investing in research and new technologies. just recently, china became home to the world's largest private solar research facility, and the world's fastest computer. so yes, the world has changed. the competition for jobs is
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real. but this shouldn't discourage us. it should challenge us. remember -- for all the hits we have taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline, america still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world. [applause] no workers are more productive than ours. no country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. we are home to the world's best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any other place on earth. what is more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea -- the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny. that is why centuries of
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pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here. it is why our students don't just memorize equations, but answer questions like "what do you think of that idea? what would you change about the world? what do you want to be when you grow up?" the future is ours to win. but to get there, we cannot just stand still. as robert kennedy told us, "the future is not a gift. it is an achievement." sustaining the american dream has never been about standing pat. it has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age. now it is our turn. we know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. we need to out-innovate, out- educate, and out-build the rest of the world. [applause]
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we have to make america the best place on earth to do business. we need to take responsibility for our deficit, and reform our government. that's how our people will prosper. that's how we will win the future. [applause] and tonight, i would like to talk about how we get there. the first step in winning the future is encouraging american innovation. none of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the new jobs will come from. thirty years ago, we could not know that something called the internet would lead to an economic revolution. what we can do -- what america
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does better than anyone -- is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. we are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices, the nation of edison and the wright brothers, of google and facebook. in america, innovation does not just change our lives. it is how we make a living. [applause] our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. but because it is not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout history our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need. that is what planted the seeds for the internet. that is what helped make possible things like computer
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chips and gps. just think of all the good jobs -- from manufacturing to retail -- that have come from those breakthroughs. half a century ago, when the soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called sputnik we had no idea how we'd beat them to the moon. the science wasn't there yet. nasa did not even exist. but after investing in better research and education, we did not just surpass the soviets -- we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs. this is our generation's sputnik moment. two years ago, i said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we have not seen since the height of the space race. in a few weeks, i will be sending a budget to congress that helps us meet that goal. we'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology -- an
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[applause] investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people. already, we are seeing the promise of renewable energy. robert and gary allen are brothers who run a small michigan roofing company. after september 11, they volunteered their best roofers to help repair the pentagon. but half of their factory went unused, and the recession hit them hard. today, with the help of a government loan, that empty space is being used to manufacture solar shingles that are being sold all across the country. in robert's words, "we reinvented ourselves." that is what americans have done for over two hundred years -- reinvented ourselves. and to spur on more success stories like the allen brothers, we've begun to
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reinvent our energy policy. we are not just handing out money. we are issuing a challenge. we are telling america's scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we will fund the apollo projects of our time. at the california institute of technology, they are developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars. at oak ridge national laboratory, they are using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities. with more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. [applause] we need to get behind this
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innovation. and to help pay for it, i am asking congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. [applause] i don't know if you've noticed, but they are doing just fine on their own. [laughter] so instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's. now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they're selling. so tonight, i challenge you to join me in setting a new goal -- by 2035, 80% of america's electricity will come from clean energy sources. [applause] some folks want wind and solar. others want nuclear, clean
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coal, and natural gas. to meet this goal, we will need them all -- and i urge democrats and republicans to work together to make it happen. [applause] maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to america's success. but if we want to win the future -- if we want innovation to produce jobs in america and not overseas -- then we also have to win the race to educate our kids. think about it. over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree. and yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren't even finishing high school. the quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. america has fallen to ninth in the proportion of young people
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with a college degree. and so the question is whether all of us -- as citizens, and as parents -- are willing to do what's necessary to give every child a chance to succeed. that responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. it is family that first instills the love of learning in a child. only parents can make sure the tv is turned off and homework gets done. we need to teach our kids that it is not just the winner of the super bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair, that success [applause] that success is not a function
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of fame or p.r., but of hard work and discipline. our schools share this responsibility. when a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance. but too many schools do not meet this test. that is why instead of just pouring money into a system that is not working, we launched a competition called race to the top. to all fifty states, we said, "if you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we will show you the money." race to the top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. for less than 1% of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning.
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these standards were developed, not by washington, but by republican and democratic governors throughout the country. and race to the top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace no child left behind with a law that is more flexible and focused on what is best for our kids. [applause] you see, we know what is possible for our children when reform is not just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals, school boards and communities. take a school like bruce randolph in denver. three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in colorado, located on turf between two rival gangs. but last may, 97% of the seniors received their diploma. most will be the first in their family to go to college.
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and after the first year of the school's transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said "thank you, mrs. waters, for showing that we are smart and we can make it." [applause] let's also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a child's success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom. in south korea, teachers are known as "nation builders." here in america, it's time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect. [applause]
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we want to reward good teachers and stop making excuses for bad ones. [applause] and over the next ten years, with so many baby boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. [applause] in fact, to every young person listening tonight who is contemplating their career choice -- if you want to make a difference in the life of our nation, if you want to make a difference in the life of a child -- become a teacher. your country needs you. [applause]
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of course, the education race does not end with a high school diploma. to compete, higher education must be within reach of every american. [applause] that is why we have ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students. [applause] and this year, i ask congress to go further, and make permanent our tuition tax credit -- worth $10,000 for four years of college. it's the right thing to do. because people need to be able to train for new jobs and careers in today's fast- changing economy, we are also
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revitalizing america's community colleges. last month, i saw the promise of these schools at forsyth tech in north carolina. many of the students there used to work in the surrounding factories that have since left town. one mother of two, a woman named kathy proctor, had worked in the furniture industry since she was 18 years old. and she told me she is earning her degree in biotechnology now, at 55 years old, not just because the furniture jobs are gone, but because she wants to inspire her children to pursue their dreams too. as kathy said, "i hope it tells them to never give up." if we take these steps -- if we raise expectations for every child, and give them the best possible chance at an education, from the day they're born until the last job they take -- we will reach the goal i set two years ago. by the end of the decade, america will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
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[applause] one last point about education. today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not american citizens. some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. they grew up as americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of deportation. others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. but as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. it makes no sense.
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now, i strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. i am prepared to work with republicans and democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. [applause] i know that debate will be difficult and take time. but tonight, let's agree to make that effort. and let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation. [applause] the third step in winning the future is rebuilding america.
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to attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information -- from high-speed rail to high-speed internet. [applause] our infrastructure used to be the best, but our lead has slipped. south korean homes now have greater internet access than we do. countries in europe and russia invest more in their roads and railways than we do. china is building faster trains and newer airports. meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation's infrastructure, they gave us a "d." we have to do better. america is the nation that built the transcontinental railroad, brought electricity to rural communities, and constructed the interstate highway system. the jobs created by these projects didn't just come from laying down tracks or pavement.
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they came from businesses that opened near a town's new train station or the new off-ramp. over the last two years, we have begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. tonight, i am proposing that we redouble these efforts. [applause] we will put more americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. we will make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what's best for the economy, not politicians. within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of americans access to high-speed rail, which could [applause] this could allow you go places
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in half the time it takes to travel by car. for some trips, it will be faster than flying -- without the pat-down. [laughter] [applause] as we speak, routes in california and the midwest are already underway. within the next five years, we will make it possible for business to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all americans. [applause] this is not just about a faster internet and fewer dropped calls. it is about connecting every part of america to the digital age. it is about a rural community in iowa or alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world. it is about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device, a student who can take classes with a digital textbook, or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor.
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all these investments -- in innovation, education, and infrastructure -- will make america a better place to do business and create jobs. but to help our companies compete, we also have to knock down barriers that stand in the way of their success. over the years, a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries. those with accountants or lawyers to work the system can end up paying no taxes at all. but all the rest are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. it makes no sense, and it has to change. [applause] so tonight, i'm asking
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democrats and republicans to simplify the system. get rid of the loopholes. level the playing field. and use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years -- without adding to our deficit. [applause] it can be cone. -- be done. to help businesses sell more products abroad, we set a goal of doubling our exports by 2014 -- because the more we export, the more jobs we create at home. already, our exports are up. recently, we signed agreements with india and china that will support more than 250,000 jobs in the united states. and last month, we finalized a trade agreement with south korea that will support at least 70,000 american jobs. this agreement has
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unprecedented support from business and labor, democrats and republicans, and i ask this congress to pass it as soon as possible. [applause] before i took office, i made it clear that we would enforce our trade agreements, and that i would only sign deals that keep faith with american workers, and promote american jobs. that is what we did with korea, and that is what i intend to do as we pursue agreements with panama and colombia, and continue our asia pacific and global trade talks. [applause] to reduce barriers to growth and investment, i have ordered a review of government regulations. when we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them. [applause]
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but i will not hesitate to create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the american people. [applause] that is what we have done in this country for more than a century. it is why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe. it is why we have speed limits and child labor laws. it is why last year, we put in place consumer protections against hidden fees and penalties by credit card companies, and new rules to prevent another financial crisis. [applause] and it is why we passed reform that finally prevents the health insurance industry from exploiting patients. [applause]
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now, i have heard rumors that a few of you have some concerns about the new health care law. [laughter] so let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. if you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, i am eager to work with you. we can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses. [applause] what i am not willing to do is
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go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition. [applause] i'm not willing to tell james howard, a brain cancer patient from texas, that his treatment might not be covered. i'm not willing to tell jim houser, a small business owner from oregon, that he has to go back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees. as we speak, this law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents' coverage. [applause] so instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let's fix what needs fixing and move forward.
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[applause] now, the final step -- a critical step -- in winning the future is to make sure we are not buried under a mountain of debt. we are living with a legacy of deficit-spending that began almost a decade ago. and in the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people's pockets. but now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. that is not sustainable. every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. they deserve a government that does the same. [applause]
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so tonight, i am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. this would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and will bring discretionary spending to the lowest share of our economy since dwight eisenhower was president. this freeze will require painful cuts. already, we have frozen the salaries of hardworking federal employees for the next two years. i have proposed cuts to things i care deeply about, like community action programs. the secretary of defense has also agreed to cut tens of billions of dollars in spending
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that he and his generals believe our military can do without. [applause] i recognize that some in this chamber have already proposed deeper cuts, and i am willing to eliminate whatever we can honestly afford to do without. but let's make sure that we're not doing it on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. [applause] and let's make sure what we're cutting is really excess weight. cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. it may feel like you're flying high at first, but it will not take long before you will feel the impact. now, most of the cuts and savings i have proposed only address annual domestic spending, which represents a
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little more than 12% of our budget. to make further progress, we have to stop pretending that cutting this kind of spending alone will be enough. it will not. [applause] the bipartisan fiscal commission i created last year made this crystal clear. i don't agree with all their proposals, but they made important progress. and their conclusion is that the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it -- in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes. [applause] this means further reducing health care costs, including programs like medicare and medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. health insurance reform will
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slow these rising costs, which is part of why nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit. still, i am willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that republicans suggested last year -- medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits. [applause] to put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen social security for future generations. [applause] and we must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities, without slashing benefits for
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future generations, and without subjecting americans' guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market. [applause] and if we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of americans. [applause] before we take money away from our schools, or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break. it is not a matter of punishing their success. it is about promoting america's success. [applause] in fact, the best thing we could do on taxes for all americans is to simplify the individual tax code.
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[applause] this will be a tough job, but members of both parties have expressed interest in doing this, and i am prepared to join them. [applause] so now is the time to act. now is the time for both sides and both houses of congress -- democrats and republicans -- to forge a principled compromise that gets the job done. if we make the hard choices now to rein in our deficits, we can make the investments we need to win the future. let me take this one step further. we should not just give our people a government that is more affordable. we should give them a government that is more competent and efficient. [applause]
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we cannot win the future with a government of the past. we live and do business in the information age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the age of black and white tv. there are twelve different agencies that deal with exports. there are at least five different entities that deal with housing policy. then there is my favorite example -- the interior department is in charge of salmon while they are in fresh water, but the commerce department handles them in when they are in saltwater. and i hear it gets even more complicated once they are smoked. [laughter] [applause] now we have made great strides over the last two years in using
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technology and getting rid of waste. veterans can now download their electronic medical records with a click of the mouse. we're selling acres of federal office space that hasn't been used in years, and we will cut through red tape to get rid of more. but we need to think bigger. in the coming months, my administration will develop a proposal to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the federal government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive america. i will submit that proposal to congress for a vote -- and we will push to get it passed. [applause] in the coming year, we will also work to rebuild people's faith in the institution of government. because you deserve to know exactly how and where your tax dollars are being spent, you will be able to go to a website and get that information for the very first time in history.
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because you deserve to know when your elected officials are meeting with lobbyists, i ask congress to do what the white house has already done -- put that information online. and because the american people deserve to know that special interests aren't larding up legislation with pet projects, both parties in congress should know this -- if a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, i will veto it. [applause] a 21st century government that is open and competent. a government that lives within its means. an economy that's driven by new skills and ideas. our success in this new and
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changing world will require reform, responsibility, and innovation. it will also require us to approach that world with a new level of engagement in our foreign affairs. just as jobs and businesses can now race across borders, so can new threats and new challenges. no single wall separates east and west. no one rival superpower is aligned against us. and so we must defeat determined enemies wherever they are, and build coalitions that cut across lines of region and race and religion. america's moral example must always shine for all who yearn for freedom, justice, and dignity. and because we have begun this work, tonight we can say that american leadership has been renewed and america's standing has been restored.
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look to iraq, where nearly 100,000 of our brave men and women have left with their heads held high, where american combat [applause] where american combat patrols patrols have ended, violence has come down, and a new government has been formed. this year, our civilians will forge a lasting partnership with the iraqi people, while we finish the job of bringing our troops out of iraq. america's commitment has been kept. the iraq war is coming to an end. [applause]
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of course, as we speak, al qaeda and their affiliates continue to plan attacks against us. thanks to our intelligence and law enforcement professionals, we are disrupting plots and securing our cities and skies. and as extremists try to inspire acts of violence within our borders, we are responding with the strength of our communities, with respect for the rule of law, and with the conviction that american muslims are a part of our american family. [applause] we have also taken the fight to al qaeda and their allies abroad. in afghanistan, our troops have